Road to RatenburgA family of rats is forced to leave their home, so sets out to find the fabled city of Ratenburg. Along the way they outwit vicious dogs, tricky rat traps, and sharp-beaked hawks, and make some very dangerous crossings. The rat family’s adventures test their character and grow bonds between sisters and brothers, father and uncle, mum and dad.

Narrating the tale is Spinnaker Rat, a classic Edwardian father, full of wisdom about the ways of the world, who finds himself learning more than he expected.

by Joy Cowley & Gavin Bishop

“This is a classic children’s journey story, and it’s in the tradition of those classic stories because it uses animals not just to make it exciting and funny, but also to send a message. It’s done really beautifully in this story. I found it hilarious, inventive, funny and poignant.” – Kate De Goldi, Radio New Zealand


“Think of The Road to Ratenburg as an escalator of excellence, between, say, Gavin Bishop’s Rats and Terry Pratchet’s Maurice and His Amazing Educated Rodents. All three books are delightful variations on the same theme but only one has joy. Joy Cowley, that is … Non-furry youngsters will, however, enjoy this warm and witty fable about a loving family.” – Magpies Magazine


“The Road to Ratenburg holds a lot that a parent, teacher, or the astute child reading solo, can relate to the modern world with its real life refugees and migrants. The message is not hidden entirely, but Cowley’s skill and experience prevent it from being inappropriately preachy.” – New Zealand Books


  • Storylines Notable Book 2017

Gecko Press | pb | 198 xc 129 mm | 194 pp | 2016 | 8+

Rights sold: Chinese (simpl.), Turkish